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May 26, 2012 permalink
British social workers are not satisfied just terrifying the families of England, so they have taken to snatching children in other countries as well. They don't care about niceties like the law.
Social workers told to return snatched baby to France
At least in this case, the family has won their baby back.
By Christopher Booker, 6:30PM BST 26 May 2012
Two parallel stories last week highlighted what has become one of the most bizarre features of our “child protection” system – the fanatical determination of our social workers to track down mothers who have fled overseas to escape their clutches, and bring their children back to “care” in England.
On March 22, I reported, in anonymised form, the case of Joe Ollis and Marie Black, who escaped to start a new life at his mother’s home in France, so that they could keep the child they were expecting. Norfolk social workers had threatened to seize the baby as soon as it was born, because of the mother’s domestic problems in a previous relationship. The social workers were authorised by a court to go to France (at a cost of £8,000) and bring the baby back to England.
Fortunately, at a later hearing, a French journalist, who had been following this unhappy story, ran into Brendan Fleming outside the court. He is the one solicitor who has won a reputation for fighting the manifold abuses and injustices of this crazily corrupted system. He took on the case and challenged the judge’s ruling in the High Court. It appeared to have been in breach of EU law (“Brussels II” as it is known). It had also breached the famous “Hedley judgment”, by ruling that a baby born in France could be considered as having had “habitual residence” in England – even though it had never been here.
Last Monday, lawyers for Norfolk caved in. A High Court judge discharged all the earlier orders, ruling that the baby must be returned to France and closing the case (which is why I can now name the parents and the local authority).
The social workers, I gather, have tried to protest that this is a problem, because the baby hasn’t got a passport – though this didn’t stand in the way of their bringing the child to England in the first place. But an important principle of law has been upheld, and a dreadful injustice is on the way to being reversed.
How ironic that, in the same week, Welsh social workers seemed just as determined to track down another couple, who recently escaped to Spain to avoid their child being seized at birth, because of incidents involving the mother’s previous partner.
On Thursday, after a court had placed orders on the child, even though it was born in Spain, a social worker led a team of six policemen round the homes of the mother’s divorced mother, father and sister, threatening them with prison if they did not reveal the couple’s whereabouts. At the direction of the social worker, all three homes, I gather, were searched from top to bottom.
The child’s grandmother and grandfather were separately arrested and held in custody for several hours before being released without charge. The police also confiscated parcels due to be delivered by the grandmother as part of her job, refusing to give them back.
I hope that this second awful case can also be taken on by the doughty Brendan Fleming, who for so many parents has become a shining light in the nightmare world in which they find themselves.
Source: Telegraph (UK)